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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  September 1, 2012 10:00am-12:00pm EDT

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this morning, the ladies panel is back to discuss the republican convention. plus, we are deconstructing welfare, work and the history of race baiting. and mitt romney says his favorite sports teams matter more than his faith. but first, republicans have finally left tampa. and now it's over. allow me to retort. good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. it's okay if you couldn't make it through the entire republican national convention. we watched so you wouldn't have to. here's everything you need to know about the last five days in tampa in the next five minutes. it all started on monday, except
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then itmmediately stopped. hurricane isaac showed up at the convention, and all the hot air blowing around inside the tampa bay times forum was no match for the storm's 80-mile-per-hour winds. so after officially opening the convention, republicans declare it had adjourned until tuesday. and that's when the party really started. the heavy hitters took to the stage tuesday evening when we heard from rick santorum, scott walker and kelly ayotte, among others. and if you were a republican of color and speaking on tuesday, you were most likely crammed into one big hour of republican diversity that included former representative and former democrat davis, south carolina governor nikki hailey and texas senate candidate ted cruz. but ann romney's speech tuesday night pushed pause on policy and politics for a moment. her speech exposed the soft and fuzzy underbelly of the gop elephant. >> tonight i want to talk to you about love. i want to talk to you about the
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deep and abiding love i have for a man i met at a dance many years ago. >> and she really, really, really wanted to talk about that dance. >> and that is where this boy i met at a high school dance comes in. that boy i met at a high school dance. this man i met at a high school dance. that tall, kind of charming young man brought me home from our first dance. he took me home safely from that dance. >> when new jersey governor chris christie took the stage for his keynote address, all that dancing came to a full stop. >> i know this simple truth, and i am not afraid to say it. our ideas are right for america, and their ideas have failed america. >> and by "our ideas," what he meant was chris christie's ideas. with the majority of his speech devoted to his own record as governor, it sounded more like a speech for christie 2016 than romney 2012.
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so by wednesday night, the speakers were back on message with a slight alteration of the theme. instead of knocking president obama with, we did build that, former secretary of state condoleezza rice and senator john mccain both delivered foreign policy speeches that pretty much amounted to you didn't kill that. listening to their fearmongering about threats to our national security, you'd think osama bin laden was still hiding somewhere in the hills of afghanistan. >> it's one of two things will happen if we don't lead. either no one will lead and there will be chaos, or someone will fill the vacuum who does not share our values. >> unfortunately, for four years, for four years, we've drifted away from our proudest traditions of global leadership. >> now, maybe it's reasonable to expect the omission of the president's foreign policy accomplishments in a republican convention speech, but paul
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ryan's address on wednesday night skipped right over facts in favor of what the associated press generously called factual shortcuts. take, for instance, ryan's suggestion that president obama could somehow have prevented the closure of a gm plant where he spoke as a candidate in 2008. >> candidate obama said, i believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years. that's what he said in 2008. well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year. it is locked up and empty to this day. >> uh, yeah, but that's because unlike president obama's rescue of the auto industry, the government wasn't there to support that gm plant. it closed under the bush administration later in 2008 before barack obama was ever in a position to do something about it. how about this claim. that president obama has no plan to deal with the debt. >> republicans stepped up with
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good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. how did the president respond? by doing nothing. nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue. so here we are. $16 trillion in debt. and still he does nothing. >> yeah, unless -- unless you count this. the president's plan for economic growth and deficit reduction. 67 pages of president obama's plan to deal with the debt which brings me to thursday. and mitt romney's speech, accepting the republican nomination. since the republicans are apparently into conversations with people who aren't actually there, here is what i have to say to invisible mitt romney. >> oh, you were finished? oh, well, allow me to retort. >> let's start with this part of your speech. >> president obama began his presidency with an apology tour.
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america, he said, had dictated to other nations. no, mr. president, america has freed other nations from dictators. >> i wouldn't exactly call repairing the united states damage foreign alliance as an apology, but there's one thing you did get right. yes, mr. romney, america has freed other nations from dictators. since barack obama has been president, there are fewer of them in the world, hosni mubarak, moammar gadhafi, ben ali and the dictator of another kind, osama bin laden. what else you got? >> and let me make this very clear. unlike president obama, i will not raise taxes on the middle class of america. >> yeah, wrong on both counts. president obama has no intention of raising middle-class taxes, which you know very well, governor. you also know that the real difference between you and the president when it comes to taxes is this. president obama thinks the rich should have to pay a little more. people like you think they should pay a little less. or almost nothing at all in the opinion of people like your running mate, paul ryan. and speaking of opinions, i know
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some in your party believe the issue of climate change is a matter of personal belief instead of what it is, a fact. and that's probably why you thought this would be a brilliant applause line. >> president obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans. and to heal the planet. my promise is to help you and your family. >> global warming, so funny. the thing is, what helps the planet also helps me and my family. yes, the obama administration's fuel economy and carbon pollution limits and reduces the emissions that contribute to climate change, but those policies also create jobs, save families money on gas and keep the american automobile industry competitive in the global market.
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now, i can't say i'm surprised that mitt romney and paul ryan delivered speeches with factual inaccuracies about the president's record. after all, the theme, we built it, it placed on the erroneous claim that the president suggested business owners don't deserve credit for their own success. of course, what he was actually saying was that entrepreneurs and companies benefit from federally funded support for things like bridges and roads, teachers, the internet, or the location of the republican convention, the "tampa bay times" forum which was built using taxpayers funds or the levees surrounding my beloved new orleans that this time didn't fail because you see we, the taxpayers and the american government, built that. here to help me digest all of this, comedian and social commentary nancy giles, contributing to cbs's "sunday morning" and syndicated columnist bob franken. all right. >> wow. >> wow.
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>> so i had a lot to say. it was all week. my show's only on the weekends! >> i've got nothing left. >> i know. i'm just in awe. >> and i really appreciate the way you frame that last we built it because it's we the taxpayers. >> yes. >> you know, okay, president obama wasn't as articulate as elizabeth warren when she made that beautiful thing about you should know, you know, there's this contract that because business does well, it's because of public roads, public bridges, public education. but one of the things that was so hard about this convention to watch was just the lies, the plain old boldface, like, lies. i found myself slapjawed through most of it. wait a minute! that's totally wrong! >> what they didn't put out there was their slogan, republican slogan, which is we'll demolish that. >> right. >> it was interesting. i was able to tolerate the convention by switching back and forth. this is blatant homerism. switching back and forth between the convention and watching the washington nationals. >> i see.
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>> of course, that begs a whole lot of baseball metaphors. the only one i'm going to suggest here is that perhaps on thursday night the republicans wish they had put in a pinch-hitter for clint eastwood. >> i promise we're going to talk clint eastwood. >> it occurs to -- the one thing i want to say is that we ought to add a debate with him as the moderator and two chairs. >> it would be classic, but let me ask this because i do think what happens when we do get into a world where, you know, where we're watching the convention, we're thinking, laethat's lies, it's easy to forget that we are not a random sample of the american people. >> i know, that's true. >> right? so is mitt romney -- you know, they kept saying are you better off than you were four years ago? isn't romney better off than he was five days ago? we have a little poll showing that there is a 5% increase in likability after the rnc than before it. it's still really quite low, blow one-third in terms of likability, but a little bit of a jump. is he better off than he was five days ago? >> what i find interesting is they found it necessary to have
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all these people tell why he's such a nice guy. >> i know. >> he has this reputation of being cold and distant. so they had all these people line up to try and put lipstick on a pig. the polls -- the polls don't seem to show that it really did all that much. >> well, i agree with bob. constantly you have people going he's so funny. you really don't understand, he's so funny and i love him. you know, just repeating the same kind of warm and homey things to try to force the fact that he's just not that warm and homey. >> the thing is i'd be okay with that. it does not necessarily take i agree a gregarious person. some of the most gregarious lovely people i know are also people i would not want to be president. but i think for me, the sense that there was this need to keep repeating it and the kind of
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generalities they provided other than if you're not likeable, fine. lay out some policy. >> right, and there was none. and there was none. >> but except for the fact that elections are, to a large degree, really determined by likability. that just happens to be true. that's why al gore lost. not that he's not likeable in person but because quite frankly he appeared to be a stiff. john kerry, john mccain had a bit of a problem. george w. bush was successful by saying he'd be the person you'd want to have a beer with even though he doesn't drink over al gore. it does matter. i understand that. it was so interesting for me to watch ann romney's speech, and you played the sound bite where she started off with talking about how he was a boy at the dance, and by the time he was through, he was a man. right before her eyes. >> when we come back, we are going to talk about that chair because an old man talking to an empty chair felt like such a metaphor for the republican
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i wondered about, you know, when the -- what? what do you want me to tell romney? i can't tell him to do that. he can't do that to himself. you're crazy. you're absolutely crazy. >> that was clint eastwood speaking to invisible obama thursday night. and that was the republican party's totally missing the irony of a white man rendering a black man invisible. but at least clint was acknowledging the invisible man.
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one look around the audience, the rnc made it immediately apparent which americans republicans were speaking to, and the invisible americans they seemed incapable of seeing. back with me, nancy giles and bob franken and joining them are monica, author of the forthcoming book "the entrepreneurial instinct," and from wake forest university. it's lovely to have you here. so i've got to say, i felt like i was having a college moment. so i pulled out my invisible man by ralph ellison. and i thought, this moment captured exactly the thing that i find so anxiety producing. whatever critiques you might have of president obama, whenever he tells the story of america, nobody's invisible, right? there's women there, men there, workers there. there's enslaved people. when he tells the story, it gets to be everybody's story. and over and over again, they kept rendering invisible everybody else's contributions. and then literally made the
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president into the invisible man. i mean, and i'm sorry, am i having like an academic overreading of this? >> no, not at all. >> yes, you are. >> well, look. we've got a party that appeals to 0% of the african-american population, zero. they managed to poll a few people that do support them. that was interesting eye candy. >> zero percentage is a count. there are some actually black republicans. >> and i saw some of them on your show last week. i found it sad and depressing. first talking about clint eastwood. i've worked with him. he's an incredible filmmaker. he's always had african-american actors in prominent roles in all his movies. he's been loyal to his crew. it's been 15 years, but this guy looked kind of, like, sad and sort of out of it and sort of unkempt. and just on the basis of him representing himself, i was
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disturbed. >> yeah, and let me push this a little bit because i don't want you to claim that mr. eastwood is himself, you know, harboring racial bias or anything. >> i don't think he is. >> but there's something missing in what happens when you represent the president of the united states in that way. let's even take the idea that we are somehow less safe in the world, this kind of discourse that was coming up from condi rice and john mccain. that felt to me the sort of thing that would be policed out of a democratic convention. you're not allowed to show up and say oh, you know, we're much more vulnerable now. we're much less safe than we once were. >> the eastwood presentation, it spoke to the soft birtherism that's been around all week. that barack obama is not one of ours. he just doesn't get it. and the party took on this role as the carrier of the american dream, the carrier of american
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exceptionalism as though the rest of us are not. and then to say actually he doesn't get it, and implication presuming lots of democrats don't get it. >> i think we're connecting a lot of dots that shouldn't necessarily be connected. >> okay. >> i think clint eastwood very clearly has a history if you look at this man of being one that is civil to people of all different backgrounds. and you know, i just thought that this was an eccentric speech. i thought it was one that was entertaining, and i thought it was one that was meant to rile the population, but to go further and say that there's racial undertones here that we should all be upset about. i didn't connect those dots at all. >> i agree. i think monica makes the great point. i think what we really had here was clint eastwood's shtick. not only that, but there's nothing original about that. every campaign has an ad with an empty chair depicting the opponent. what i found ironic is that they were touting this mitt romney who is supposed to be so distant. so you had an empty chair promoting the candidacy of an
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emotional empty seat. and i believe that it was awkward. i believe it shows the smart staff people make mistakes. they don't like to admit it because they get paid a lot of money not to. but it was just one of those things that gave us something to talk about. >> let me ask about this something to talk about because it also seems to me that in addition to being sort of upstaged by an empty chair, that mitt romney was consistently getting upstaged by the various people who were meant to be introducing him. let's just take a quick moment and listen to chris christie and his speech on the same night that ann romney spoke. >> they said it was impossible. this is what they told me, to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in the 8 years before i became governor. we did it. they said it was impossible to speak the truth to the teachers union. for the first time in 100 years with bipartisan support, you know the answer, we did it. >> all right. but the "we" there has nothing
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to do with mitt romney. >> it was really i did it. it was all about chris christie. he's my governor. >> good for him. he should tout that. >> that became the line, they kept forgetting to mention him until the last five minutes. >> the party is not one person. it's a group of people. this is a moment to build unity and excitement, and i think he was very successful in doing that. >> well, the one thing he wasn't successful in doing, though, was promoting mitt romney. he waited until, i think, 16 minutes in before he even mentioned his name. it was so self-promoting. i have to just say that chris christie, to me, is the best advertisement for anti-bullying legislation because the guy -- he's my governor. he's a total bully. it's not pleasant. >> it's interesting that he would use the word "truth." i mean, it was the kind of truth that george orwell wrote about with the ministry of truth. they were presenting, quote, truth and presenting lies at the same time. >> let me push on this truth question because we did hear that from christie, from ryan, also this idea that we're the
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people who will tell you the hard truths. but then also said but don't worry, we are not going to be sort of dominated by fact checkers. that's not going to be central to what we're doing here. >> what's the old adage? you know a politician's lying when his lips are moving. i mean, i think this is something that if we're going to talk about politicians not telling the truth, this happens on both parties across the aisle. >> it really is more than that. you know, it's funny to find out in the news this morning that paul ryan lied about his marathon time, right. that's kind of funny and why would he do that when he knows that there is the internet. but it's not funny when they say things like, you know, medicare is being, you know, raided when, in fact, the ryan plan is the one that would turn it into vouchers. it's not cute or just sort of normal politics to suggest that the president has a welfare policy that he doesn't have. those are inaccurate. >> i'm sorry to jump in. i've got to say i really don't appreciate when you've got all these lines on the one side, and i've heard not only you say this but other people say this, oh,
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both sides lie. both sides. it's a false equivalency. these are boldface huge lies. the thing about the plant -- >> a boldface lie to me is saying the press is pro-business. that's my wheelhouse. and i look at small business owners today. >> as soon as we get back because there was a promise of 12 million new jobs. monica, i'm going to ask you whether or not that was just a falsehood or whether or not that's reality and i'm going to let you in on this one. why should our wallets tell us what our favorite color is? every room deserves to look great. and every footstep should tell us we made the right decision. so when we can feel our way through the newest, softest, and most colorful options... ...across every possible price range... ...our budgets won't be picking the style. we will. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. get labor day savings with up to 24 months
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one is america is the most exceptional country on earth and we've got to get rid of obama because of deficits, poverty and unemployment. the only way they can square those is to say they're under the obama presidency alone. when in fact most of it was built up under george w. bush. they're saying let's go back to the kinds of programs that paul ryan supported and george w. bush canvassed. so they have the basic truth they're trying to sell. it's all obama's fault. is actually a lie. so in order to cover the lie, they have to lie and lie and lie and lie. there's going to be lies from near till november because if they talked the truth and say the mess was created by our policies, of course it wouldn't go down very well in peoria. i think that's the strategic area that the democrats need to go for. don't pursue every lie. let the fact checkers do that. ask why they need to lie at all. >> it does feel like they're pursuing each and every one begins to make you look petty. this is the advice your parents give you. don't fight with a person who is irrational because from a distance, you can't tell who's rational and who's not. monica, i do want to ask you
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about this and whether or not this is a lie. let's hear romney's fundamental promise, the one thing he said he would do. let's listen to this. >> i have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. paul ryan and i have five steps. >> all right. so five steps, 12 million new jobs. look, okay. is that true? >> we had not heard enough from anyone to be able to support a claim like we're going to be able to create 12 million new jobs. but i think the issue is far simpler than all of this. we have a jobs problem. the economy is the number one issue for most people. and the president who's sitting in office today has not prioritized jobs and the economy. in his first term in office, in the first two years, he controlled both the house. he had the support of the legislature. and did he prioritize jobs and the economy? no, he prioritized universal health care, a very important issue, but frankly not the number one issue.
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and it still stands today. >> i want to take just a quick look at data on this because the fact is that since 1948, just the reality, since 1948, income grows for everybody except the top 5% at a much higher rate when a democrat is president, period. like it's just -- you know, i mean, i'm not quite sure what to do with that except to say there's the facts when a democrat is president, if you are in the 95%, you are likely to see income growth. and i don't know how to square that with i believe that businesses create jobs, not government, but elect me to the head of government so i can create 12 million jobs. >> partly pointing out that projections are the 12 million new jobs will be created. regardless of policy change. he's not making a pitch that isn't going to happen anyway. the other thing, we've had two growth periods. one was democratic led in '73 because of strong trade unions in the northeast. and we've had the reagan one since where inequality has grown
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out, outsourcing is gone, that came to bits in 2008. we've got to find a third growth model. that's what the problem is. >> is that right? are we going to have 12 million jobs? and so what he's doing is basically going out to the horizon at 6:00 a.m. and going, rise, sun, rise! and then the sun rises? >> all the rhetoric is totally ignorant of the fact that over the last 40 or 50 years, we've seen a completely different nature in terms of how people get access to capital. debt has gone all over the place. it's become so easily accessible to most people. and a lot of americans don't know what to do with it. it helps to fund our lives, but it's grossly complicated our lives as well. it's completely left out of the conversation. >> yeah. >> you said they have a five-step program, and it's nice to see that he and paul ryan had part of a five-step program. but beyond that -- >> a 12-step program, you mean? >> but beyond that, quite frankly, five steps isn't going to cut it, number one. number two, some of the steps that we know about are going to be horribly destructive to the
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economy up to and including the tax cuts that they're talking about. that fits into the ministry of truth kind of approach to things. but lastly, what they are doing, and you just mentioned a fact. shame on you. we're not going to let that dictate the campaign, after all. and this is just classic political demagoguery when they say if you don't like what you see in the mirror, break the mirror. that's what they're doing now by trying to give a partisan sheen to anybody who has the audacity to present facts. >> and the other thing is that there was a jobs bill that the president introduced that was rejected by, you know, the republicans. i think 16 times. sometimes not even allowed to get to the door. >> here's another fact. raise the taxes. raise the taxes on the wealthy. what are you really going to get? you're going to get $700 billion. we've got a $16 trillion debt. what are we doing for the 93% left? >> we're cutting the taxes at the top will undoubtedly increase the deficit. >> we're running different kinds of debt together, federal debt, international debt and personal debt. personal debt built up in the
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reagan years because people -- their wages didn't rise except for the late '90s. so people maxed out their credit cards. that hangs like a low now on this economy and we can't get out of it. and actually we've got massive international debt as well. >> up next, i want to talk about one other issue, and that was how mitt romney, in presenting himself, dealt with the faith factor on thursday night. we're going to dissect the word in just a bit. you do this every morning? it's the only way to get fresh coffee. not in my house! this new flavor lock pack from maxwell house helps seal in freshness. wow! that is fresh! am i still yelling? [ male announcer ] maxwell house flavor lock. always good to the last drop.
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we are mormans, and growing up in michigan, that might have seemed unusual or out of place, but i really don't remember it that way. my friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to. >> and there you have it. that was the one and only "m" word dropped by the newly minted republican nominee for president. and the speech was anticipated to be a morman coming-out story,
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that was, in fact, all there was. still with us, nancy giles and joining us is ronald scott, author of "mitt romney: an inside look at the man and his politics." all right. we've talked about latter-day saints and morman on the show before. and i do think certain things are off limits. i think making fun of magic underwear or odd beliefs, religion is quirky. let's put that aside. here's what does feel like it's on the table to me, tax returns and romney saying that he doesn't want his church donations to be clear. attitudes towards gender equality and the way they might have been impacted by his religious beliefs. and ultimately how his religious beliefs might influence how he wants to govern. are those things that are on the table that arellowable for us to ask and talk about in terms of the morman identity of mitt romney? >> sure. >> okay. and so -- >> in a word, sure. >> so do you buy the tax return story? is that why he doesn't want to release tax returns? >> no, that's why he's reluctant to release his taxes.
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it's a nice tap dance, but that's not what's behind his resistance on the taxes. >> what's behind it? >> i think -- i think it's because the tax returns will give the opposition lots of things to shoot at. there's nothing illegal there, i'm sure. >> yeah. >> because he's had too much help. he knows he's going to run for president for quite some time. he sanitized everything. everything's done correctly. but what those returns will present will be some opportunities for democrats to take pot shots and make him out to be a rich guy. >> so let me ask about the other sort of morman piece that keeps coming up, and that is about gender equality, which is not the same thing as whether or not mitt romney likes women or likes his wife or his mama or any of that, but it does feel to me like the stories that we hear about his role as bishop in the church and the things that he said to women in tough circumstances about their reproductive choices is relevant. does that feel relevant to you, nancy? >> it definitely does. it seems very paternalistic. and the shame of the whole thing on thursday night was apparently
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part of that film that was shown before the networks rolled, it showed a lot of his interest, his love of the morman church, his connections and relationships with people in that community. and from what i saw, it's very touching. i'm not a fan of his, but you had to be moved by all of that. that never made it on air. so it's still this kind of mystery. and i have the same questions that you do. i have them about his ideas about race as well because the morman church had definite ideas about race until the '80s. you know? this is part of how he grew up. >> so do you think it's time for him to actively engage this, or is this just -- is this just sort of stoking the fires of resentment? >> we know only of two situations with women when he was leader of the morman church. one was in my book. we chronicled it in detail. it was a woman that was pregnant and wanted to keep her child, he
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counseled her to give the child up for adoption which is policy in the morman church. the incorrect information about that was that she was actually threatened with church discipline. >> yeah. >> that doesn't -- didn't make sense to me when i head it. doesn't make sense to me now. >> but the threatening of ex-communication -- >> i don't think he did. >> because that does -- >> that's what she heard him say, possibly. >> all right. because it does happen. i just want to be really clear. as the african-american child born out of wedlock of a former morman mother, the casting into outer darkness and the notion that one could be ex-communicated from one's reproductive choices does happen, which is why for me it resonated. it sounds like it could be true, but that doesn't mean that it is. >> i think you could be -- you could get church discipline for having sex outside of marriage. >> right. >> but you wouldn't get church discipline for keeping a child that was conceived that way. >> yeah. you know, unfortunately, we have to go. there's so, so, so much more. >> it's just surprising. i just feel like these choices
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are so private. they have no place in politics. >> and exactly this issue of discipline, i think, is part of what i want to know is whether or not that notion of a kind of religious discipline around personal choices will also convey into a sense of government having the right to discipline. >> i think there's evidence -- when he ran for the senate in '94, he fade a fairly dramatic change on his position on abortion where he favored roe v. wade and said even though i'm personally opposed to abortion, i can support roe v. wade and a woman's right to choose. and i think that is -- says to us how he's going to govern, that his religious beliefs are not going to impact how he governs. >> and it's flipped again. it's changed again. >> yeah. >> he's flipped again, but i think that he will uphold the law, and he will be a representative of the people that elected him. >> ronald, i appreciate you being here, and we are going to go to exactly this issue next as we ask about this issue of is
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this an all-boys club, or is there room for the rest of us in the republican america? more after the break. copd makes it hard to breathe,
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see what else comes standard at liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? all year long we've been discussing what's been dubbed the gop's war on women. especially when it comes to reproductive rights. but say what you will about the republicans and their gender gap with women. this week's convention was not an all-boys club. did i just say that? no, in fact, she just said that. and by "she," i mean the women that filled the republican convention's schedule this week. on tuesday, the woman who may have gotten the most bang for her buck had only a few minutes to speak, but she managed to electrify the crowd. take a look. >> mr. president, i'm here to tell you the american people are awake, and we're not buying what you're selling in 2012. >> but people were apparently buying what saratoga springs,
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utah, mayor mia love was selling. since her speech the candidate for u.s. congress has raised more than $200,000. and then there was nikki hailey who got the crowd going about voter i.d. laws. >> we said in south carolina that if you have to show a picture i.d. to buy sudafed, if you have to show a picture i.d. to set foot on an airplane, then you should have to show picture i.d. to protect one of the most valuable, most sensual, sacred rights and blessed within america, the right to vote. >> so apparently in south carolina voting should be harder than buying deaccongestant. okay. at least we're clear about where she stands. there was also the most anticipated speech on tuesday night. the woman who could be the next first lady. ann romney. >> we're the mothers. we are the wives. we're the grandmothers.
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we're the big sisters. we're the little sisters, and we are the daughters. you know it's true, don't you? i love you women! >> at the end there, i thought oprah had taken over ann romney's body. i love you women! you get a car! you get a car! i'm sorry, i couldn't help myself. so tuesday didn't end with the parade of women speakers at the republican convention. oh, no. if you that it ann romney was the pinnacle, think again. they brought out the big guns wednesday. condoleezza rice, anyone? >> my fellow americans, we do not have a choice. we cannot be reluctant to lead, and you cannot lead from behind. >> you heard what sister condi was saying, right? president obama isn't leading when it comes to international affairs. bin laden.
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and to show that the gop is down not only with women but also with latinos, new mexico governor susanna martinez spoke right before vice presidential candidate, congressman paul ryan. >> and at 18, i guarded the parking lot at the catholic church bingos. now, my dad made sure i could take care of myself. i carried a smith & wesson .357 magnum. >> whoa! for bingo? i am not messing with her. no, ma'am. as we get closer to the election, it will be interesting to see if what these women said was actually what women voters wanted to hear. and more importantly, if it was enough to move the gop standard bearers' ten-point gender gap with the president. coming up, our panel will tackle just that. ♪
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but the only hitch in an
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otherwise perfect week was the awful noise coming from the hotel room next door to mine. turns out it was just debbie wassermann schultz practicing her speech for the democratic national convention in charlotte next week. bless her heart. >> that was former arkansas governor mike huckabee at the republican national convention on wednesday. there's not much i can say about that except ladies, what in the world was he thinking? right now, we are awaiting former governor mitt romney at a campaign event in cincinnati, ohio. but in the meantime at my table, erin carmone, nancy giles, r rebecca traster and monica mehta. >> they love women so much that especially they love the vision of, you know, a loud, mouthy, powerful, jewish woman -- >> breast cancer survivor. >> debbie wassermann schultz making noise in a hotel room.
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and the other thing, when they all cheered clint eastwood's mention of oprah crying. >> they all thought it was hilarious, the idea of oprah weeping. despite ann romney's claims that, you know, women, i love you! >> we're more complex than this, though. like there's so much more to what matters to women than just the talking points that we hear all the time. there's plenty of conservatism women who are concerned about the fact that 41% of single mothers live below the poverty line. and that they are five times as likely to be in that situation today. >> many of the women that you're talking about, though, are really going to be affected by women's health choices being, you know, compromised by no funding for planned parenthood. >> and i totally agree with you, but the economy still matters more to me. >> what part of the economy? >> the idea that women's reproductive rights are divorced from economic concerns -- >> economic issues. >> grabs more than others. >> economic issues like whether i'm getting a value meal at
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wendy's isn't an economic issue. there are far greater issues. >> how do you participate in the workplace? >> can i call you guys sisters? it's jobs and the workplace. that's what matters. >> you can't control your reproductive life. earn your money. how do you care for your children if you can't afford health care or child care, if you don't have a good education -- >> ladies, ladies, we all know that all we do in life is make a lot of choices. and the choice that i would make first is to live in an economy that's healthy and then argue with my leadership over my reproductive rights. it's just the choice i would make. >> i don't think you're speaking in the way that most people think. it's not a matter of -- >> or i think. >> and i consider you a sister, okay. the idea that women's reproductive rights have nothing to do with the economy. it doesn't track. it doesn't make sense. >> it's not what drives the economy. >> it does particularly for women. when we look just at the world
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economy, when women live in nations where they control their reproduction, when they have access to affordable and reasonable birth control, that is the same places where we see women receiving education. it's where we see women not stuck in marriages that have domestic violence. it's where we see women having longer life spans. all of those things are fundamentally connected to the ability to control one's reproductive rights. >> i did a piece on republican women. so you obviously have politicians making a lot of things up. i've spent this week at the rnc and i went around and talked to women why they disagree with this war on women thing. and like you, they don't see reproductive rights -- first of all, they don't see it as reproductive rights. second of all, they don't see it as a war on women. and i thought overall there was this real failure to have structured interconnected thinking, whether or not about reproductive rights or about discrimination against women, vulnerable people, medicare, medicaid, all of these things have to do with women's participation in public life. so when you say we're all sisters, that's a pretty hollow
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thing to me, and that's what we heard all week at the republican party. what we heard is just being female is some sort of kinship, as if there's no interconnected series of things that affect us differently because we're women. >> the different views that make up what is important to women is also hollow. it's not that we as women all feel the same way about everything. when they talk about reproductive rights, they lose me completely. i am with you. i don't want to see that. but i'm not going to vote that way. >> what we're talking about is how -- why is it that we have so few women in public life? what are the structural barriers? and to me it felt like they were so happy to see women on stage, but they weren't asking why are there so few women on stage? what is holding women back? why are there so many women living in poverty? >> and we are not done. up next with the 2012 republican party platform says about the rights of women and their unborn. [ dad ] i'm usually checking up on my kids. but last year my daughter was checking up on me. i wasn't eating well. she's a dietitian and she suggested i try boost complete nutritional drink
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♪ all the ladies in the house welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry in new york. the republican convention put on quite a show this past week. regardless of the optics where we saw prominent women like south carolina governor nikki hal haley, condoleezza rice and new mexico's governor susana martinez, there's still the matter of the 2012 republican party platform. what's that, you may ask? that's the written document, the one that details the party's collective views and plan of action on various issues like the economy and health care and oh, yeah, abortion. on the issue of abortion and the rights of so-called unborn children, the following is written. quote, faithful to the self-evident truths enshrined in the declaration of independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. we support a human life amendment to the constitution and endorse legislation to make clear the 14th amendment's protections apply to unborn children.
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that is the party's platform on your reproductive rights. and it's right here. you can read it. so while the rnc gave good face with the women that spoke, the written word simply znlt lie about their position on reproductive rights. it's definitely in the gop site. at the table, irin carmone, nancy giles, rebecca tracy and monica mehta, author of "the entrepreneurial instinct." >> well, it is right there in writing. >> yep. >> and there were optics as well as language, the "i love you women" language that was trying obviously to make unsettled inroads telling american women how much we love them. but if you listen to the other language, i think you're going to hear language that matches that which is a way that a lot of the speakers were talking about women, take ann romney's "i love women" speech, the sound bite earlier, we are the mothers, the sisters, daughters, grandmothers, nieces. did you notice -- we're not bankers. >> absolutely. >> we don't have jobs.
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we women who ann romney loves exist only defined by our domestic relationships within a family. this was the emphasis, her vision of motherhood, the put-upon long-suffering martyred you know, ladies, we all just sigh a little bit louder than the fathers. that is not just cutesy gender essentialism for men are from mars, women are from venus. it's a vision of long-entrenched gender inequities that kept women especially privileged white women who might by their privilege have had more access to public power than their less privileged sisters. this is the cult of, you know, republican motherhood, the cult of domesticity that's been around 200 years to keep those women confined in the house falsely elevating their role, you know, in the democracy and role in the home so that it makes it more difficult for them to participate in public life. we were listening to, like, 100-year-old rhetoric about who women are.
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and that matches that platform. >> monica, you made the point that not all women think alike. i agree, having a uterus or fa loepian tubes does not make one a democrat. but i do want to show this lifetime poll. this is a new poll just out yesterday. i just want to look first at the base of support for president obama with women. and certainly part of it is, in fact, racialized, as you've just pointed out, right? his support among black women, among democrats, latinas, under 40, young women, college grads, unmarried, just enormous numbers. and then let's look at the same poll about romney's support. now, yes, he has the support of republican women. 85% of republican women are saying they support mitt romney. but even among white women where in every poll i've seen previous to this, he was at least at 50%. he is now even among white women, among women over 50 and among married women well under that 50% rate. and so, again, overall you end up with this enormous gap
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between obama and romney. >> i want to add to rebecca's point about the idea of the women sigh a little harder. this week when we heard so many lies, there was a defense that said well, we're talking about a fund mental disagreement about the role of government. so here's something that was not based on a lie but is based on a misconception. this idea when she says we sigh a little harder, it's this idea that women are always going to have it harder, as if you acknowledge disparity, that's enough, okay, the women, i'm with you. if you say that things are harder, then that's enough as opposed to a serious set of policy prescriptions or acknowledging that previous sets of policy prescriptions are one of the reasons that we have women standing up there in the first place. so i was talking to these women at the convention this week. and they would say to me, well, you've art the apple. pam bondi, she spoke, i saw her give a speech later. she said there's no such thing as a glass ceiling. a minute later she felt she had been singled out for sexism when
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sued over obamacare. i came to her later. i said i'm curious, you were subjected to sexism, you said there's a double standard but no glass ceiling. oh, no, you young women have to believe in yourself and we'll all be okay. as if believing in ourselves and it will be okay as opposed to policy is what made those women stand on stage. >> as a single woman, i felt completely ignored by this crew. and completely devalued because i don't have children and haven't had children. it was a very insulting thing. and like i was saying before, it comes back to single women and their choices reproductively which should be private. it's no one's business. >> let me go to this privacy because there was this moment that i found extremely compelling. and it wasn't during the convention. it was ann romney on cbs talking about the issue of miscarriage. and i found it very compelling. let's listen to it for just a moment. >> i knew i was losing the baby, and it was about 3:00 or 4:00 in
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the morning. i decided i wasn't going to wake mitt up. i was going to be okay. i waited until about 6:00 in the morning. i said, mitt, you've got to take me to the hospital right now. >> okay. no person watching that can feel anything other than the pain of that loss, the agony of that loss. she goes on to talk more about it. but i also thought to myself, that's why privacy matters. because she was making a choice in that moment. her choice was, i'm going to wait three hours before i tell my husband. that's a choice that makes sense within the context of our marriage. it's a choice that makes sense based on my knowledge of my body. >> she had adequate medical care. >> she was incredibly -- i just feel like i want everybody to have that same privacy. >> that's cynical because the way we're talking about ann romney, i look at nikki haley, and i felt so much pride because her story is so much like mine. i'm the daughter of self-made immigrants. they came here with very little. they did very well for themselves. and now she's governor. and i look at her and i think wow! that's fantastic. and it may be because our skin's kind of close in shade.
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>> sure, sure. >> you know what? i should have the right to feel that pride. i look at condoleezza rice. and she is such an example of american exceptionalism. i mean, she's not sitting there talking about how difficult it was for her and how we should feel bad for her. she found her way. and to a certain extent, i respect that. so i don't look at these women and think about, like -- >> she found her way through the world because policy had changed. >> civil rights made a huge difference. >> she didn't find her way by herself. >> nikki haley has a government job. you can't exclude those things. >> nikki haley is celebrating limiting a vote. nikki haley was celebrating the limited ability of people to vote by having to show their i.d.s. this is voting rights with one of the biggest entryways to participation in public political civic life for people who had different skin colors and different genders. >> i thought they were fantastic role models. i looked at them and thought -- >> nobody's saying they're not fantastic role models. they are. >> i mean, condi grew up in the
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south and can play the piano and speak multiple languages, and secretary of state. that's hot. i'm with you. >> it doesn't mean we can't take apart what they're saying. we can both appreciate their american stories and the progress they represent at the same time we're critical of the policy they're espousing and words they're using. >> i'm trying to say -- yeah, i guess what i'm trying to say is that not all women feel exactly the same way. and feel something of comfort. >> yeah, you're right. >> it's ann romney saying we all sigh harder. it's not us saying that. i think i'm critiquing that idea. you know, it's ann romney and many other of the speakers who were saying come on, we all know that the female experience is one of maternity, domesticity. >> not necessarily. >> role within a domestic life. and that's not represented. that's what nancy's saying. it doesn't represent her experience or many others. >> it doesn't.
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i don't deny her having that experience or deny the women that do. >> there's a variety of experiences represented. >> we're saying the same thing except that -- >> i think the problem is that you're acting as if the very fact that they have inspiring personal stories is enough for women. just the fact that they're women is not enough for me personally. what do they offer the other women who don't have the privileges that they haven't had, the success that they've had? >> irin, i think -- but i think, though, that question of substantive representation is key in a democracy, right? it would not be okay to have a democracy where it was all heterosexual white men who all shared my policy views, right? that would also be an inak kwdee democracy. certainly the embodiment matters. for me what felt so, i guess, obscene in a certain way was the ways in which these women's bodies were being used just as their body. so when you have condi rice giving that speech about, you no
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he, i came up and i stood up by my own bootstraps, i felt like that was such an ahistorical stereotype. you did not build that by yourself. you know, there was a whole movement that built that along with you. like you just -- i'm sorry, you didn't do that by yourself. we do that together. >> it felt like a complete denial of the facts of how you got there. i mean, when we look at president obama, one of the first things that he did -- i think it was the first thing he did was sign the lilly ledbetter, you know -- >> act. >> thank you, equal pay act. and how any woman could not be for that, for instance. i'm stunned by that. i don't understand how anyone could not want equal pay for equal work. i don't get it. >> a part of what i saw going on this week, and i wrote about this in salon, and it's been going through on the war on women. people are saying what are we in 1964 talking about birth control? yes. part of what the right is attempting to do right now, and you could see it in tampa is actually use a time machine.
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to take us back before the social ruptures of the mid-20th century that allowed women and pleem of color people of color more access. >> i thought they were on task on jobs and the economy. that was the first priority. >> 50 years ago, the greatest generation, my grandfather -- >> there is just no way to get a job if you're constantly pregnant. >> that's right. >> thank you, irin and rebecca, the rest of you are back for more a little later. next we're actually going to head to the gulf coast. last week i brought you a tour of the house that my husband, james, and i recently brought right across the street from where we currently live in new orleans, and the plan was to take the property, still blighted from katrina, and restore it into a place where our family could live and grow. but isaac had other plans. the storm's force uprooted a tree in the yard which collapsed our dream home, and now we're left with this. i know, it looks horrible, but we are still planning to build that. and here's the other thing. as big as the loss is, we are
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very, very clear about how lucky we are. our family is completely alive and safe and well. we have another home. others in the gulf coast fared much worse in hurricane isaac, and we're going to go there next. there are a lot of warning lights and sounds vying for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward.
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rnlesidents in the gulf coa are still picking up the pieces after isaac made landfall tuesday. at least seven deaths in louisiana and mississippi are now connected to the storm. while many more in hard-hit areas like plaquemines parish and slidell saw their property devastated by flooding. for some, the damage was worse than hurricane katrina's wrath seven years ago. president obama called local officials yesterday and will survey the worst of the damage on a trip to new orleans monday. joining me now from new orleans is louisiana state senator karen
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carter peterson. good morning, karen. nice to see you. >> good morning, melissa. how are you? >> do you have power back yet, karen? >> i do, thank goodness. in fact, we were lucky. we live downtown, so we were very lucky. >> i'm happy to see you and glad to know you're doing well. how bad is the flooding in the hardest-hit areas this morning? >> it's pretty bad, melissa. as we saw in katrina in new orleans, many of the outlying parishes are experiencing the same level of devastation by the hundreds and the thousands. for example, in st. john the baptist parish, there was an experience of tidal surge that's unprecedented in the last 15, 20 years and areas that hadn't floods in all of those years flooded for the first time, many, many subdivisions as well as the braithwaite subdwags in plaquemines that's been nationally televised and some areas of st. taminy parish in slidell. there's significant devastation. new orleans and jefferson parish, the metro area, is
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really experiencing an issue of power. >> yeah. intergy is getting a bit of grief right now for not having power restored. >> sure. and this is one of the challenges that we were facing as a family in terms of trying to get grandparents evacuated and folks in other areas evacuated because every single storm is different. and so people who said oh, we did fine in katrina. sometimes didn't want to leave in this case. >> that's right. and so they found themselves in harm's way, but the good thing is that there were emergency personnel that were ready. the national guard and other fire department and police folks, i mean, and just average citizens put their own lives at risk to go rescue folks. most people are out of harm's way, but there's great devastation. and thank goodness that president obama signed the emergency declaration. we're very thankful for that as well as u.s. senator mary landrieu who made sure that there was money available for the recovery with the disaster relief fund. >> and this is not a small point. i just -- you know, there's the
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very real human damage and property loss and all of that, you know, that i'm feeling very personally myself, but there is also a political story here because levees are a matter of politics. they have to be paid for. and the question of what you do after storms. talk to me a little about why this is doing better despite as bad as things are. >> well, you know, i think despite how bad things are, i mean, it's important for us to have disaster relief funding, and i appreciate the efforts of senator mary landrieu against oftentimes, like you said, politics is sometimes involved. oftentimes the republicans are not willing to fund things like disaster recovery or the level of funding that's needed for the army corps of engineers. we need -- we've hbillions of dollars invested, and we're thankful that the federal government has returned some of the investment that louisiana has sent to washington's coffers. however, there's more needed. certainly we've had lots of federal levees built, but we've
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also seen in plaquemines parish and st. john's parish, there are other flood protection initiatives that need to be funded that have not yet been funded. and so i appreciate senator landrieu's efforts, but she's up against a romney/ryan budget. that's the fact. and that budget does not take care of the folks here on the ground. a disaster affects every citizen, melissa, as you know. you know, probably folks are surprised to see oh, wow, somebody we know nationally, a celebrity, is impacted in the same way that so many average citizens. but you know, you were talking about women a second ago. women are disproportionately affected in storms like this. >> and the elderly. karen, i appreciate you joining us, state senator karen carter peterson. and the point, of course, the storm does not ask if you are republican or democrat. billy nungesser, a republican, bobby jindal, our governor, a republican, have been on the ground doing that work, but we need the resources. it is a moment where our partisanship should hopefully not have anything to do with our identity as citizens.
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so thank you for your continued work, karen. >> thank you. >> i'm coming home soon. up next, mitt romney's intentional distortions, race baiting and the fear of the dangerous black man. ♪ spread a little love my way ♪ ♪ spread a little something to remember ♪ ♪ ♪ spread a little joy... [ female announcer ] fresh milk and real cream. that's what makes philadelphia. ♪ so spread a little... [ female announcer ] and that's what makes the moment we enjoy it, a little richer. ♪ real belgian chocolate whipped with philadelphia cream cheese. new indulgence. the moment just got a little sweeter.
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so that wherever your duty takes you, usaa bank goes with you. visit us online to learn what makes our bank so different. welcome back. right now i want to go live to cincinnati, ohio, where mitt romney is on stage for a campaign rally. let's take a listen. >> i think you gave them the answer this morning. thank you! i brought with me a very special person who lit up the convention and who's going to light up america, my sweetheart, ann romney! >> wow! that is an unbelievable reception. we are so grateful for all of you coming out. and i know why you're doing it. it's not just for us. you're doing it for the country.
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you all have figured it out. and you know this is an important election. we've been across this country, and we have seen so many families and individuals that are hurting, that are looking for hope and are looking for help. well, guess what? help is on the way. i had a chance to talk a little bit about this guy that i love at the convention, and i wanted to talk from my heart. i hope that you all felt that it was so much from my heart. i believe in america, and i believe in this man. and i know he can get it right for us. so thank you all very much.
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>> now, getting ready -- getting ready for my convention speech, i read some speeches from some other people who'd spoken at conventions. i actually also read the inaugural speech of some of our great presidents and heroes in my life. one of the speeches i read was the convention speech of barack obama. he was not one of the ones that i wanted to draw from except i could not resist a couple of things he said. because he made a lot of promises. and i noted that he didn't keep a lot of promises. one of the promises he made was he was going to create more jobs. and today 23 million people are out of work or stopped looking for work or underemployed. let me tell you, if you have a coach that's 0-23 million, you
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say it's time to get a new coach. it's time for america to see a winning season again, and we're going to bring it to them. now, he famously said that he was going to slow the rise of the oceans. and he was going to heal the planet. and our promise to you is this. we are going to help the american people and help the families of america. >> that is republican candidate for president mitt romney, campaigning in the battleground state of ohio just two days after accepting the nomination of his party. and once again, making the -- he just got back from new orleans. and he once again made the rising of the rivers joke. i've got to say, it was
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interesting. obviously they put ann romney up initially. we heard governor romney, his wife, mrs. romney, spoke first. clearly they think she helps to humanize him, to make him more likeable. we heard him say that he thinks barack obama broke his promise for more jobs. but of course, there are -- >> there are more jobs. >> there are, of course, millions more jobs now. and the oceans joke again. i am a little baffled, i must say. >> he's playing the green agenda against the jobs agenda. we recognize some of the most important jobs we can create are new environmentally sensitive jobs, jobs to help us control the environment. in the middle of a hurricane season, this level of insensitivity speaks to the nature of the republican base. i think this no-nothing anti-science culture is ublt up there. what they think of as a legitimate thing to say, the rest of us go what? he just said that? how bizarre. >> well, let's talk about his coach analogy. we're going to hear him referred
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to as coach mitt. he said if you're 0-23, then time -- >> 23 million. >> -- 23 million, it's time to get a new coach. first of all, the problem is is, would you want to get a coach who has the same game plan as the people who put us into that situation where we had 23 million under or unemployed people? and what he is espousing, according to his opponents in the democratic party, is a return to the failed policies, the failed game plan of the previous republican administration. that is what is so audacious about the campaign that the republicans are running. they are talking about going right back to the problems that brought us down to our knees anyway. and that was just another piece of his image. >> but it simply is true that under president obama, we have added jobs every single quarter. now, we could certainly debate, there is certainly room to suggest that it's insufficiently robust, that there's more that could have happened.
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but the idea -- sort of that phrase that occurs, he didn't lie. he said he lost 23 million jobs. but when he puts it on the 0-23 million, it sounds like 23 million jobs were lost under president obama. and that's false. we have added every single -- in every single monthly report, there are more jobs. >> there's one very important thing we've added which is more people to the rolls of long-term unemployment. we used to have 2.3 million people who were out of work for a six-month period of time or more. and now today that number is 5.8 million people. we're spending a lot of money. we're not spending it well. i think that's the problem like conservatives like me have. >> i think that's what the angst of many progressives. >> that's why we have a deficit that continues to grow year after year after year. >> it's more than what we have is because of the bush tax cuts. it's actually not a lot of money. >> bush tax cuts are a drop in the bucket. $700 billion. that's what you get. >> well, you're right, compared to the war in iraq, you're right. compared to the war in iraq, they are a drop in the bucket. but that is where that deficit emerged. it was off-the-books war
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spending, the bush tax cuts. >> it's bad spending. i mean, i even sat down and did the math. we spent $830 billion on the first bailout. if we had given that money to the 15 million people who needed jobs -- >> the bailout occurred -- >> -- a $15,000 check for of single person. >> unfortunately we've got to go, but i've got to tell you, the bailout occurred under george w. bush. there was a stimulus package that occurred under president obama. up next, mitt romney's potential distortions on race. i'm not going to let that one go. we're coming back on that. not in my house! this new flavor lock pack from maxwell house helps seal in freshness. wow! that is fresh! am i still yelling? [ male announcer ] maxwell house flavor lock. always good to the last drop.
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oh, we call it the bundler. let's say you need home and auto insurance. you give us your information once, online... [ whirring and beeping ] [ ding! ] and we give you a discount on both. sort of like two in one. how did you guys think of that? it just came to us. what? bundling and saving made easy. now, that's progressive. call or click today. did you hear that? still no? well, that's because it's a dog whistle. so unless you're a dog, you can't hear it. in the past few weeks, we've heard a lot about racial dog whistles. i actually think it's a pretty bad analogy. the romney camp's intentional distortion of president obama's position on welfare isn't a dog whistle, it is an invisible and inaudible, it's more like racial
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bait. clearly visible, very smelly, and obviously there for one reason, to reel in voters with lingering racial bias. and it's nothing new. we have seen it all before. seriously, we have been seeing and smelling this kind of race baiting for more than 20 years. in the vault this week, we found a report from nbc's lisa myers in 1991 chronicling the race-baiting techniques that have plagued presidential politics for decades. >> they're always writing that the only reason governor wallace has any support is just because he says what people want to hear. >> reporter: in 1968, george wallace showed how powerful the mixture of race and working-class resentment could be. since then, every republican presidential candidate has run on some issue that raised racial overtones. richard nixon, law and order in the wake of the race riots. >> if we could only have enough law enforcement, we'll have no problem in the cities. that just keeps the lid on it.
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>> reporter: ronald reagan told the story of the welfare queen. >> in chicago they found a woman under 127 different names. >> reporter: george bush was accused of playing racial politics when he made a figure of this michigan convict. >> a man named willie horton who was furloughed and goes out and rapes and tortures before he was captured again. >> and now history will add the romney campaign to that list. this may be practical political strategy, fear of the dangerous black man, resentment for the mythical welfare queen. it has worked before. but it will not work much longer. because it's not a dog whistle. we can hear you. and we're calling you on it. gom abigail higgins had... ...a tree that bore the most rare and magical fruit. which provided for their every financial need.
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and then, in one blinding blink of an eye, their tree had given itlast. but with their raymond james financial advisor, they had prepared for even the unthinkable. and they danced. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you.
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martin gilllands. "why americans hate welfare." studies conducted by nonpartisan researchers. americans spending for the social good, including social security, education and assistance for the poor. at the same time they oppose the same kind of spending when it's called welfare. the puzzle? why do americans support helping the poor but oppose welfare, which is the primary vehicle of spending to help the poor? the answer, according to gillands, and that it's not due to individualism, economic self-interest. nope. turns out that americans hate welfare because media, at the behest of conservative politici politicians, have linked welfare with black people and have hammered home the idea that welfare recipients are undeserving. and here's the kicker. gillands did this analysis on data collected 20 years ago. so when gingrich, ryan and romney stoked the fires of racial resentment with their welfare misinformation campaign, it is nothing new.
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joining me again, our syndicated columnist bob franken, comedian and cbs "sunday morning" contributor nancy giles, david coates and monica mehta. i've got to tell you, when i hear them do the lies about welfare -- and this is not true about welfare -- it just looks to me like the 20 years of race baiting that's been going on around it. >> the audience in the convention, i was intrigued when people got excited when clapped and when they didn't. when jeb bush got up and talked about funding education for minorities, it was relatively quiet. you had that young teacher saying we need more money, very quiet. teacher unions and also when he said let's have choice, the place erupted because choice means getting away, leaving the poor behind. and i think that's the philosophical debate we need to have about poverty by raising everybody or by escaping people.
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and i think this body wants to escape it. >> you make such a good point. i think this is really under an umbrella of efforts to discredit a constituency that probably isn't going to vote for the republican party. to me, the most contemptible is what they're trying to do to voter rights. in states like texas and all this kind of stuff, they are getting to the heart. they are talking about disenfranchising americans who would not have the one man or in today one person, one vote availability. that goes to the heart of democracy. so you have a republican party, or at least many representatives of it, who are not just anti-democrat, they are anti-democracy. there is no other way to put it. >> and to jump to your point, i think what's so weird is that the only kind of voter mischief, if you want to call it, that had occurred, because there's statistically not a reason to be going after voter fraud in my opinion was the 2000 election when all those votes were purged from florida. and all those people -- and the votes that weren't counted. and that ended up in a happy
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result for a republican president. and voting is just such a basic human right to have that taken away is horrifying. >> coming back to the issue of welfare, i think the problem i have with a lot of things that are being said here is that it's suggesting that the people who want to see a level of reform hate people that need welfare or require assistance. and i think to a certain extent, every civilized society should help the people that need the help. i think the question is just how much and for how long. >> wait, wait. i want to be completely clear about this because i do think that as an african-american in this position, i pretty frequently get called a race baiter and told that i am saying that other people hate someone. i am in no way saying anything about what people feel in their hearts about some individual. what i'm suggesting is that on a matter of policy, if we say assistance for the poor, that americans have generally been big-hearted people who would like to help poor people.
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but when we say welfare, after 20 years of linking the word "welfare" with a group of people who we consider not only black but also black and undeserving, and the kinds of narratives that have been created with that, there was reform in the system. reform that was so powerfully problematic that we didn't get enough money to poor people during this. and they are not telling the truth about president obama. they're not. >> ronald reagan say we fought the war on poverty and poverty won. poverty went down. that was a crucial shift. >> there are people out there who are taking welfare and, you know, they need it. and then there's other people out there who are taking welfare and could easily turn it away. there's all sorts of people in the world, and i think the problem is that we have limited resources. and we're trying to figure out how to make the best of those. that's the actual debate. >> it's a weird assumption that people that take public assistance really want it. you know, they're lazy.
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most people -- >> it can't be limitless. >> limitless? the limits currently -- let me be really clear. were established under bill clinton under a democratic president. >> that's right. >> are appalling. >> every time we make an entitlement, we come up with reasons why we can't get rid of that. >> i'm sorry. >> speaking to monica's point early that you have to have reform of rell farwelfare, you have it tightened up, guess who was the last person to do that. barack obama. one of the very programs that republicans are now attacking were really an effort to go to the governors and say, you need to, in fact, increase things by 20%. that was the reform tightening up of the kind that you're talking about here. >> they're twisting. >> now they're twisting it, we get back to the ministry of truth. >> it can be fed to the entitlement culture. there is an entitlement culture in this society, and it's at the top. people get very angry if they don't get tax breaks, but they
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get angry people at the bottom who get a little bit of help. it's this double standard. you give money to people who have more money than they know what to do with. people get so angry about that. >> how is it people aren't more angry about that and want to pile on the people that are the most vulnerable? >> 5% of taxpayers pay 40% of taxes. that's so unfair? that's what we're getting upset about? >> listen to a moment about mitt romney who did make this interesting point about what people deserve because i want to play this. let's listen to mitt romney at the convention. >> now is the moment when we can stand up and say, i'm an american. i make my destiny. we deserve better. my children deserve better. my family deserves better. my country deserves better! >> so he goes right to your point of deservedness. and just before that, he had done this whole riff on people who work multiple jobs and college kids. >> there's this reversal. what he does, he says that if we start to talk about progressive taxation, we are setting
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americans against americans. what sets americans against americans is massive income inequality. we are actually pulling them together. he's pulling this classic thing, be turned into the cause of their own suffering. the people who do cause the suffering let off scot-free. it's quite clear that there are people at the convention understood the importance of class, they kept demonstrating how they left it behind. like that monty python sketch saying i lived in a hole in the ground kind of thing. class and deprivation stop people from doing things. social engineering, market-based engineering. we are accuseded of reviving america. >> it feels to me what was caught, it does feel to me as part of the american party is class mobility. if there is no class mobility, we are not america. and i was going to say, and the data now shows in our current moment, class mobility is very low. and this notion of saying i deserve it, what do i deserve?
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i feel like from the bottom, you have to be able to serve i deserve the ability for class mobility. zloo which >> which is funded by public education, health care. >> it's enabled by taking risks, and that was the big thing missing -- >> what is riskier than living poor in america? seriously! what in the world is riskier than being a poor person in america? i live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner. i live in a neighborhood where people have to figure out how to get their kid into school because maybe it will be a good school and maybe it won't. i am sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky. no. there is a huge safety net that whenever you fail will catch you and catch you and catch you. being poor is what is risky. we have to create a safety net for poor people. and when we won't, because they happen to look different from us, it is the pervasive ugliness. >> it is. >> do not do that. >> there's the other side that small businesses do take risks, of course, and -- >> that's actually what makes
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entrepreneurs different from other smart hardworking people. and my point was that was what's missing from the speech. >> entrepreneurs who built things all by themselves? >> they build them by employing other people. >> that all of us have access to, that the teachers have access to, but some of us go to dairy queen and some of us start businesses. >> the whole notion of job creators, consumers are job creators. we're the ones who help make business and who help make industry. and it's very hurtful. i so agree with what you just said. there was a picture on the front page of "the new york times" this tuesday that really irked me. it was a black man that was in a shelter in new orleans. and it showed empty beds around him, and he was laying back with his feet crossed. and there was something about that picture to me that just looked like, this is an example of some lazy person sponging off the largess of people. there are pervasive things out there. there just are. >> correct me if you disagree. your premise is that the person
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must have all the wealth he can accumulate as a reward for taking risks. and i guess my question is how many vacation homes do you need? how many private jets do you need? i suspect that if people were to give a little bit back to the government, that would enable them, that they would, in fact, still want to take those risks. >> i don't think that's the thought process of the small business owner that makes $250,000 a year. we've lost 220,000 small businesses in the last ten years. we're mixing apples and oranges. we're talking about people that are super wealthy and putting the policies that should affect them on real people who are trying. >> you're right, small business is different than bain capital, but i'll also say ten years president obama has been president less than four. in just a moment, i'm going to take a breath, but first, it's time for "weekend with alex witt." >> anybody just waking up on the west coast, man, you are up. that's all i have to say. but it was a great discussion. i love your passion. let's get to all this, everyone.
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it is a swing state extravaganza today. the president and mitt romney hitting battlegrounds. we'll take you to middle america live and tell you about some new polls. did mitt romney get a bounce? the scandal begins in back . it begins for penn state university in a big way. there is a warning off the coast of massachusetts. why are officials concerned with sharks? and it is a rare event, the like fz of which we will not see for a number of years that brought unique light to the whole world. it was beautiful. i saw it. back to you. what two men did this week to save more than a hundred lives. it's our foot soldiers. [ male announcer ] drive a car filled with
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it's been a hard week for those of us who live on the gulf coast. and apologize for losing my temper earlier. maybe that's part of that hard week because, you see, exactly seven years after the devastation unleashed by the catastrophic levee break of katrina, hurricane isaac had us
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asking, is this all happening again? but this week's foot soldiers are two men who faced that fear head-on. our foot soldiers this week are jesse schafer and his son who shares the same will name. the sthaifers controlled plaque man's parish. they saved 120 neighbors. on monday, jesse jr. was asked by tamron hall why he was out there rescuing people. and this is what he had to say. >> i useded to live on the north side of the wall, the border between the parishes. so i was watching the waters all day yesterday. will finally we got the surge at 1:00, 1:30 last night. so i sat at the gate on the other side until it was time to go in and start rescuing. we hooked up to the boat and started immediately. >> did you catch that? tamron asked him why he did it. his response is, basically, because i live there. our usual foot soldiers are
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seemingly ordinary people who tackle enduring structural problems. it may seem today they were just responding to the emergency situation caused by isaac. we're in the season of party conventions when labels take center stage. but when the schaefers show up, they don't ask if you're a republican or a democrat. they don't ask you what your religious affiliation is. they don't ask you whether you support single pay or health care or the right to bear arms. they just ask, do you need help? and if you do, they take you out of the water. disasters will come to everyone. sometimes it's hurricanes and water. sometimes it's illness or divorce or war or rape. and when the disasters come and when the levees break, our labels do not matter. what matters is our community. we need each other. we need our block and our city and state and, yes, our national will community as represented in
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our government. the schaefers remind us that we are at our best when we do what we can to help those who need us. when you live in a community, if your neighbor's house is on fire, you rush over with water. when your neighbor's house is under water, you bring a boat. for acting and rescuing and understanding we're all in this together, jesse schaefer and his son and all the others like them are our foot soldiers this week. and that is our show for today. thank you to my guests. and thanks to those of you at home. see you tomorrow morning 10:00 a.m. eastern to the essential guide to next week's democratic national convention. coming up "weekends with alex witt." pocketed coils
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